Travelers will not be let into Tanzania unless they can show proof of having received a vaccination against Yellow Fever. Other shots we must be current on are: Hepatitis A, Typhoid, Tetanus, Diptheria, Measles and Polio.
Vaccinations (or anything that involves a needle going into my skin) top the list of my least favorite things to do. I always have to turn my head when my blood is drawn. I could never watch when my daughters got their vaccinations. In fact, when my first two were born, I opted for a natural birth just because I couldn't stomach the idea of an IV in the crook of my arm.
I wonder if my aversion to needles dates to my continued bouts with strep throat and tonsillitis when I was eight, and all those HUGE shots I had to get in my butt. Once I kicked the shot tray out of the nurse's hand. Penicillin sprayed everywhere. My mom was so embarrassed and I didn't get the toy she promised for good behavior.
Yesterday, my youngest daughter and I went to the local travel clinic for our shots. When I started SCUBA diving, I got the Hepatitis A series as we planned to travel to countries where the food and water were not always safe. So I was thankfully already set with that one. I opted for the oral Typhoid vaccine (love the option!). And, as with most my age, I suffered through the measles so no need to get vaccinated. I still had to get a Yellow Fever vaccination and an updated Tetanus. At least the Tetanus was in the same shot as the Diptheria vaccination.
We met the nurse in her office where we discussed our travel plans. I tried not to watch as she built the shots, shaking the miniature glass bottles of medicine, filling the needles, setting them carefully on her desk so they wouldn't roll off.
But I couldn't help myself.
It was like passing a freeway accident.
Then we had to wait for the doctor to sign for the shots. By the time he did so, the shots were looming, both metaphorically and physically.
Next, we walked to the examining room, the shots laid out on the all too familiar little plastic tray on top of a paper doily almost as if they were skewered shrimp.
I never believe the nurse when she says "You'll feel a little pinch now." But she was right about the first one - the DPT was a minor sting in my left arm. The Yellow Fever shot, however, burned. My daughter watched the needle go into my arm. Later, she said she wished she hadn't. She had never seen a needle that long before, and when she got her Yellow Fever shot, she was sure the needle nearly pierced all the way through her arm.
Now that I am all updated with my shots, I feel like I should work in a lot of traveling before they expire.